BMD-1 Airborne Fighting Vehicle
Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide

Country of OriginCIS (formerly USSR)
RoleAir-droppable armored personnel carrier and fire support vehicle
Date Of Introduction1969
Crew3 (commander, gunner, driver) + 4 passengers
Combat Weight8.3 tons (7.5 mt)
Ground Pressure8.11 psi (0.57 kg/cm²)
Length, Overall 17.74 ft (5.41 m)
Width, Overall 8.3 ft (2.53 m)
Height, Overall 5.3-6.5 ft (1.62-1.97 m)
Ground Clearance3.9-17.7 in (100-450 mm)
Engine240 hp (179 kw) diesel
Range200 miles (320 km)
Road Speed40 mph (65 km/h)
Cross Country Speed25-28 mph (40-45 km/h)
Swim Speed4 mph (7 km/h)
Fording DepthAmphibious
Trench Crossing5.25 ft (1.60 m)
Vertical Wall Climb2.6 ft (0.80 m)
ArmorHull: 0.6 in (15 mm). Turret front: 0.9 in (23 mm) or antibullet
Applique ArmorAvailable. See VARIANTS
Explosive Reactive ArmorAvailable. See VARIANTS
Active Protective SystemN/A
NBC Protection SystemCollective
Smoke EquipmentVehicle engine exhaust smoke system
Type Mount Typical Ammo Load
73mm 2A28/Grom smoothbore main gun Turret; autoloader 40.
7.62mm PKT machine gun Coaxial to main gun 2,000
Two 7.62mm PKT machine guns Ball-mounted on bow 4,000
9P111 AT-3 ATGM launcher.
MCLOS; wire-guided
Launch rail on main gun; dismountable 4.
AT-3, AT-3A, AT-3B, AT-3C, AT-3C Imp, Malyutka-2, Malyutka HE
Firing ports: 1 on each side, 1 in left rear door
Fire Control System?
Main Gun StabilizationN/A
Infrared SearchlightYes


Since 1973, the BMD (Boyevaya Machina Desantnaya) replaced the airborne assault gun ASU-57 in the Soviet airborne forces, substantially increasing the firepower and maneuverability of the airborne division. Originally thought to be a light tank, the BMD may more properly be considered the airborne equivalent of the BMP infantry combat vehicle. Although, it superficially resembles the BMP, it is considerably smaller and except for the turret and main armament, is an entirely new design.

The driver sits front center with commander to the left and bow machine gunner to the right.

Vehicle can be parachute landed with airborne troops onboard. Height can be lowered.
IN0534: BMD-1

Recognition features:


Russian KBP offers a drop-in one-man turret, called Kliver, with a stabilized 2A72 30mm gun, a 4-Kornet ATGM launcher, thermal sights, and improved fire control system. The Russian Volgorod Tractor Plant offers the B30 turret (a drop-in one-man turret with 2A42 30mm gun, 7.62mm coax MG, and a 9P135M launcher for AT-4/-5 ATGM). A Russian AG-17 30mm automatic grenade launcher is available for BMD-1.

Other options are spall liners, air conditioning, and a more powerful engine. A French SNPE explosive reactive armor (ERA) kit and others are available for use on the BMD-1. However, during dismounted troop movement, ERA would be a hazard. Thus, passive armor is more likely; and ERA application is doubtful. For amphibious use, additional armor application is unlikely.

The Slovenian TS-M ATGM thermal night sight has a detection range of 4,500m and a recognition range of 2,000m.

1969. Original production model. See data above.
Command IFV (CIS), with added R-126 and R-107 transceivers.
Command and communications vehicle which replaces BMP-1KSh for airborne forces. It has a raised structure vs turret, six road wheels, a CLOTHESLINE radio antenna, and an AGS-17 AGL
Variant with improved ventilation and road wheels.
Widely fielded IFV with AT-4/5 replacing AT-3.
Company commander variant (CIS) of BMD-1P.
Widely fielded variant with a 30mm automatic gun and with AT-3 replaced by AT-4/5.
BTR-D / BMD M1979
Stretched (6 road wheels) armored multipurpose transporter variant, with two 7.62mm MGs but no turret. This chassis has been used for a variety of other airborne vehicles.
Command Vehicle

BMD-1 Photos - Click on image sample to see full size image.

Defenselink: BMD-1
U.S. DoD Photo
1024x589, 163K, JPEG, B/W
RSLC, OCT-2005: BMD-1
U.S. Army Photo
800x563, 153K, JPEG